Chaotic jobs, how to handle them

Hello dear community members,

I am working an an architecture office and it’s quite chaotic in quite every project.

Why? There are many reasons, the main ones are:

  1. Plans aren’t final. Ok some tweaks here and there are fine. But it’s normal to change the entire building, rooms and sets of furniture. Modelling and texturing in high end quality is hard to achieve if not impossible in some cases. It’s to often the case that designing starts in my part of the chain.

  2. My company won’t invest in assests from external websites. But I also have no time to build a simple libary with plants, cars, etc. So I have to download free ones, which bring often much work with them or I have to build fast and dirty.

  3. Often I communicate some camera fix perspectives, to build their content in the given time. But then after building the entire scene recording to this agreements they want much more perspectives of angles I didn’t put efford into.

  4. They shorten my time from project to project. Last time I had to visualize a opera with stage and audience, foyer and outdoor. during one week. The stage and audience area was changed one time completely, and the foyer and outdoor wasn’t designed at all. For me it’s not enough time to build up, to texture and to render everything in high standard if I have to choose the furniture, the ceilling, the ceilling lamps, etc. And if I choose something, the architects say that they don’t like my choices…

Is that normal? Am I to slow or unexpierenced? Of course there are much more talanted artists around here. Some of you may provide high class visualisations in that time. But how?

For my libary problem I choosed add ons from Polygoniq called Traffiq, Botaniq, Materialiq, Renderset. I want to buy them for me in privat and learn them in my soon coming vacation.

To get better control of the architectual mesh I also want to learn how to use Archimesh and Archipack.

Are these good choices?

I want to invite you to a discussion how to solve with the problems I mentioned above.

Thanks in advance for interest and response

Cloud2405

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Maybe go the bare bones approach?

Have a lot of basic placeholder, make some drafts. Draw over the renders with some concepts and then only do the hard modelling when they are happy with the concepts.

It’s kinda the same with modeling, make like 20 primary shapes, do secondary shapes on a few you like and then do the final modeling on the last 1 or 2 you are going to use.

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The blocking method is to abstract for them. If we are designing the fassade, I often modell the shell of the building and put 2D windows and doors (Loopcuted plances) on it. With this method we can design the basic design of windows and doors.

But yes, that’s what I’m trying already. We print them and make drafts on them. Problem is that changes to the layout will change the outdoor look too. But this connection is what they don’t want to understand. If all the details of the fassade is set they change doors, windows, even the layout and think that the fassade will not be influenced by these changes. For example I build a interior scene and a exterior scene seperatly because for me it’s easier and faster to edit them as if they were combined.

I’m not a pro in 3D and the following could be evaluated as harsh, but read to the end.

Reading the rest i would say, you are the architecture office.

There sould be a NO workflow where the architectural plans are completlty changed before previs,if that isn’t done in the CAD software.

The designer of a building is called architect.

So you can’t use some… so don’t use some.

You are the previs guy or the asset guy?

There is no free work (except with slaves).

Are you even listening to me?

They get paid for their time doing their job their were hired for and nothing else.

You wanna pay them for the opportunity to work for them?

Maybe (i’m not a pro) for previs if the design was already made?

Enough of that: I think you are in hell. I sometimes read about artists in 3D, concept for game and movie, and not only CGI, even traditional drawing, who worked like that. Unacceptable!
You are one part of the clockwork (and let’s face it, because of this exchangeable), but not the whole clock. In your case it would be easier to make your money with anything else.

You work for a living and don’t live for the work of other.
You are lucky if you are happy at work while doing things you love.
If you are doing things you used to love and unhappy twith it, you are out of luck.

Someone could say: Talking is easy.
And i say: But why you are working that hard way?

Ever heard of Yorik van Havre he is an architect who uses FreeCad and Blender. That will show you some possibilties and i don’t meant to do at this office.

You definitly need help! Get it before you are out of time (and money)
(You aren’t already sleeping at the office?)

There was a time when i read some of those stories at reddit.

Did you ever consider being an entrepreneur instead of working for someone else? It’s rewarding; you make your own decisions, be flexible, and react to trends very fast. It might be a challenge for artists, thinkers, and creators to think, feel and act as an entrepreneur. Causes could be: perfectionism, not so interested in demand, thinking too much, etc.

Now is the time for digital artists to create their own jobs. A Digital content creator is on the top list of jobs in demand. Compare this with the life of artists years ago.

I am 53 now, worked for the biggest part of my life for bosses, and don’t want this to happen to other artists, thinkers, and creators. At the end of this month, I release a course about marketing for artists. Let me know if you are interested in a 100% discount code.

The reason I decided to go for this project is that I have a 14-year-old daughter who is like me: a thinker, creator, and who makes really awesome drawings. She also thinks a lot (like I did) about time, space, the universe, atoms, why we are, and where we are. She sits often in her room (like I did when I was a kid) studying what interests her. She is very passionate about it. Draws a lot, makes characters think out personalities. I hope this course will balance her life a bit faster than it took me.

Thanks for your honest words.

The Lead Designer in our office is telling me that he comes from the professional 3D Artists scene. He argued that I’m ignorand to believe that these points are anywhere else better. He said that I have to accept this fact or I’m wrong in this job.

I know it sounds like my collegues are bad. But that’s not how it is. They are really kind and the reason I’m still there. They are very busy too (Too many projects, tasks that shouldn’t be theirs) that’s why everything falls into chaos. Our managment is in my opinion not good in using their employees right.

My problem is, I’m from Bavaria Germany. Here 3D Artist is a job which nowbody knows and which few companies search. Because of the bad quality we provide I only really learn in doing private projects. But I barely find the time and motivation to put effort into.

I’m learning these plug ins for me and to increase my skill as a Artist I won’t use my paid tools in work. I can tell them that we should use them too but nothing more.

Thanks for your offering. But I don’t know if there is enough demand in Germany. I barely find any companies which are interested in 3D Artists. We have 3D print companies and architects. Most architecture offices are using renderings of their CAD program. Most of them don’t want to invest more money for better looking renders.

In that case you can widen your view to see demands. Potential is definitely there (hint: look at the most popular addons, check their price and see how many sales they had in a year).
The question is not “Who needs 3D artists”, but more like “What do people (or businesses) need, what do I like and what is possible”.

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But all this time I wasted effort into this blackhole of company I lost track to the other Artists. How can I even compete with geniuses like most of the Artists here?

That is not that relevant as you might think.
First, change this into more positive self-talk like:
“I know we can learn new skills and change habits to achieve a goal”.

Secondly;
You don’t need to be a genius, but a level of some excellence is needed. Being a genius doesn’t mean that you also have the right mindset or made the same decisions / took the same actions.

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I’m in Bavaria as well and in my experience Bavaria has plenty of possibilities for 3D Artists/Operators. There is the advertising industry, some film stuff an then there is the automobile industry. Munich has plenty of opportunities as does as Ingolstadt. Not sure about Nürnberg. A lot of Automobile jobs are pretty boring but they pay decently.
Depending on where you are Stuttgart might not be far which offers quite a bunch of 3D jobs in the advertising and car industry as well.
Right over the border to Austria - in Salzburg - there is Red Bull Mediahouse. I believe they outsource a bunch of things to Bavaria as well.

That said, your story sounds familiar from a lot of stories I have heard from the architecture business. They don’t have money for decent visualisations but they want them anyways. Working in architecture sounds terrible.

As for solving your problem at your current employer I suggest getting organized really well and do a lot of linking/libraries and things like that . That way you stay flexible and your scenes stay light weight.

Here is a very useful post by @sundialsvc4:

I know that if I am willing to move further away the chances are better. But I try to stay close to friends and family. Live is short and I prefer having time with them then with foreign cities and people. Yeah I know, in this job I need to be flexible. But I choose the hard way and try to optimize it so it becomes enjoyable too.

Or do you think homeoffice is already a option in many companies? I mean 1 or 2 day in office its not a problem. But moving or living the entire week in a penison is not a option for me because I have cats.

You are right, if somebody has no problem with that there are chances.

But back to the topic:

My biggest problem are outdoor renderings. I have too build convincing enviroments in short time (half- one day). I know many architecture visualisations in which they use a HDRI. But for that they often bound the site with objects like fences, trees, walls, etc. to hide the transition from 3D to HDRI. Most of our contract sites are flat and miss any great amount of plants.

If I get good photos from the site, I can render the building with help of the FSpy Add-On and photoshop it. But it’s by nature to unflexible and causes often problems if they want other perspectives.

If I’m making all in 3D I block out a building blendfile and a building site blendfile.

Because I had nothing better I made plants with the Sapling Tree Gen AddOn. I copy already made and new created trees, bushes, etc. into a additonal vegetation blendfile.

After that I create a master file in which I link all elements. After previewing them to my colleagues I start finalizing each blendfile.

I don’t know how it is for employed people.
I am a freelancer and work nearly exclusively from home. Even more so since Corona.
But being a freelancer I look at job offerings all the time and more and more - not only free lancing jobs - have a “remote work possible” tag.

I think homeoffice would bring several benefits. I’m learning how to use the Botaniq, Trafiq, Materialiq and Renderset Add On by Polygoniq at my two weeks vacation. In doing some private projects, I hope I take some usefull experience back to work.
But because I have the more powerful system and a less busy and distracting enviroment at home, I hope I can convince my employer to accept my plan to make 3 of 5 days homeoffice. Two days in office to brief me in detail and three days at home to work efficient.

You seem to describe a workflow that includes “design on the fly.” That quickly results in wasted work. It shouldn’t be up to you to design that window: that should be up to the architects.

Before you start, use a simple spreadsheet to write up a “one-man project plan.” Everything that you need to do in order to complete the work, and how long you estimate that it will take to do it. Print that off and use it as a checklist, also noting the amount of time that you did spend on each task and in what sequence you actually did it. Also, keep a “captain’s log” – a diary of the project. (I use a loose-leaf notebook and a number-two pencil.) This introspection will help you see if there are better ways to do the projects more efficiently. It will also be useful to your boss and co-workers so they can make better plans and estimates.

"Project-manage yourself." :slight_smile:

Particularly look for situations where some of the work you did turned out to be scrap, say because you didn’t have the specs or something changed. Take note of every time you did something but couldn’t know at the time that what you were doing was actually correct. Make very careful note of these things. It’s entirely possible that you and those around you do not see how the overall processes can be made better, because everyone’s just too close to it.

“Okay, boss, here’s some data from my three most recent tasks. Here’s where we lost time, here’s where I got delayed, and I see some ways that we can make the process more efficient … Here’s the amount of time I spent doing work that couldn’t be sold to the client.”

One other point that I’ve learned repeatedly: “You do not recollect things as accurately as you think you do, even very-shortly after the fact.” Measure, measure, measure, and immediately write it down. When you go back and re-read it, you will be surprised.

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One side of the coin is that is a matter of self management. The other is a matter of technical workflow.

Such as for example is a matter of trying to figure out how to take more shortcuts towards the end goal. All of the below can be done with Blender which means that software is not the point. The point to gain a competitive edge and reduce the effort.

  • How to create a perfect asset library of rocks: Use photogrammetry
  • How to process a sculpt with 10.000.000 polygons: Use ZBrush
  • How to iterate fast and produce 100 renderings of the scene: Use Unreal5
  • How to create scenes that are easy to change: Houdini (procedural)
  • How to create curved models that consist of a dozen of lines: Rhinoceros.

The exact tool is perfect for doing only one task. You can happily uninstall the software once you done the job, no strings attached. Or whatever. :slight_smile:

Mostly what I am considering is these workflows used in 3D modeling software are inefficient. As I have faced lots of collisions on projects with Blender I can’t say for sure that polygonal modeling works best on all cases.

As for example polygonal modeling as invented in the 80s-90s so all of the workflows belong to the exact LOD (scene complexity and model complexity) of that era. Such as for example there was a reason why “Toy Story 1” had simple toys in it and not something like the Cameron’s Avatar.

I am not implying that Blender sucks, I am just saying that if you create a car with polygons it will take 5 days * 10 hours a day. If you use nurbs instead it will take 5 days * 5 hours per day (since there are less data to manually manipulate).

It’s been a while since I replied. I was really busy at work.

Yes I am still in this job. BUT it becomes slightly better because I took the time for creating asset libaries. I decided to not tell my collegues immediately that I finished a task. After a while I extended my time for tasks by being unhonest. Not the best way but I often told them why I need some time between tasks to make preparations and save assets. They ignored this request so I have to make it this way…

Purchasing assets and add ons is as I said difficult. I ordered in house the Polygoniq package (Botaniq, Traffiq, Materialiq and Renderset) shortly after the initial post here. Nothing happend, despite several askings.

At least simple outdoor visualisations can be made easily time and cost efficient with my latest work. I try to enhance from time to time. I think in comination with the asset libary from blender 3.0 this should make my life a lot easier.

Now I have to get a similar feeling for design as our lead designer. Because all may suggestions for floors, furniture, etc. during these “Do something yourself, I will evaluate it as soon I have the time for it” phases are most of the time wrong.

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Kirk: Scotty, how long does it take to fix this?
Scotty: At least 3 hours,captain.
Kirk: We need it in 2 hours.
Scotty: Okay, i will do it 1.

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Kirk: Why not purchase a new part.
Scotty: Okay, I open a portal to the manufacturer’s plant.